Tip #2 Blister Prevention....I have learned a little bit about blister prevention in my brief ultra running journey. Mostly from watching and talking to others. While keeping your feet dry is primary, everybody is different and therefore not all solutions will be the same. I have seen runners going through all sorts of pre-race rituals including applying tape, powders, creams, multiple layers of socks and have even read about runners with no socks. Because we are all different I can only tell you what has worked for me and my friend Jason from Atlanta who provided us with the idea for this tip. For us it was simple, choosing the right sock.
Jason prefers the Injinji mini crew performance sock. He says they are ideal for someone like him who is prone to toe blisters. Other than the fact they are funny looking and take only slightly longer to put on than a traditional sock, Jason says they have kept his toes blister free. In addition to the mini crew I counted a total of 13 other types for everything from a travel sock to a yoga sock. I did not think socks were worn during yoga? The prices range from $10-$38 a pair.
Drymax is my sock of choice (Let it be known they do now provide me with my socks, but I would not wear them if they did not work). After trying many socks it is now the only running sock I wear. They currently offer 9 styles of running socks including, for extreme heat, cold and a number of trail socks. While I do like running in specific socks for relevant conditions, if I had to choose one all around pair it would be the Maximum Protection sock. They may feel a little warm in extreme heat but I find the added layer of dense (not thick) protection on the bottom of the sock to be worth it. I noticed this added layer of comfort the first time I put them on and have worn the Max Pro in every ultra since with no major blistering (5 in 2010 including three 100 milers). Prices range from around $8 up to $36 per pair.
Please comment with any other thoughts on what has been successful for you in avoiding blisters when running. Also remember to email me any other ideas for tips you think would be helpful to your fellow runners.